Great Britain

Strictly Come Dancing’s Tess Daly reveals her real name after changing it 20 years ago for her modelling career

TESS-TING IT OUT

STRICTLY Come Dancing host Tess Daly has revealed her real name as the show prepares to return to screens tonight.

The 51-year-old star explained that he is really called Helen - and says she didn't even choose the new name herself.

Tess/Helen - who has never officially changed it because it would be "disrespectful" to her parents - said her mother Sylvia is the only person still using the old name.

The presenter told Weekend: "My mum's really the only person who still calls me Helen, and that's not often.

"She tends to call me 'love', so when she does say 'Helen' it can take me a while to respond."

Tess explained that when she started work as a model aged 17 there was a model called 'Helen Davies' on the books of her agency - and was told to change her name because it was too similar.

She added: "My agent was obsessed with [the actress] Nastassja Kinski at the time, who was in the film Tess, and thought I looked like her.

"So Tess it was. I was gullible and impressionable. Mind you, two weeks later I was in Japan then travelled the world. Paris, Milan, New York."

She added: "I've never changed it by deed poll or anything because I think it would be disrespectful to my parents."

Tess, who married fellow TV star Vernon Kay under her real name back in 2003, returns to Strictly tonight.

She will front the specially social-distanced edition of the show alongside co-host Claudia Winkleman, 48.

The pair gave us a taste of the new-look show last weekend when the couples that will be dancing this series were revealed.

However, much of the attention got grabbed by Claudia's outfit, with many suggesting she had turned up in the world's most glamorous pair of pyjamas.

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly sparkle as they explain coronavirus measures in Strictly Come Dancing launch

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